Mohammad Hafeez will look to play a long innings once ge gets his eye in, in the second ODI against Ireland © Getty Images
Mohammad Hafeez will look to play a long innings once ge gets his eye in, in the second ODI against Ireland © Getty Images

Ireland were thrashed by 255 runs in the first One-Day International (ODI) at Belfast. Ireland were outplayed in every department and it does not look likely that they will be able to pull of any sort of upset in the second ODI. But there could be a few interesting battles in the game, which may be able to turn the match into an interesting one. Pakistan handed debuts to a couple of players, while resting some players as well. We may see the bench being tested and a couple of more players be rested. Let us take a look at a few key battles from the match. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Pakistan vs Ireland, 2nd ODI at Dublin

Pakistan’s fight against complacency: Yes, Pakistan won the first match without breaking much sweat, but they must not be complacent and approach the game in a casual way. They must once again look to go all guns blazing, which will hold them in good stead for the upcoming ODI series against England. They must not play this as a practice match, and put a professional performance throughout the match.

Ireland’s battle within themselves: Ireland are the minnows in world cricket and have often struggled to put up good performances against the big teams. Pakistan are clearly stronger on paper and they showed their superiority on the field as well. If Ireland perform as a team, there is no reason why they cannot put up a fight or even go on to win. They did that it against Pakistan and England  in the 2007 and 2011 World Cups respectively. Most recently they beat West Indies and Zimbabwe in the ICC World Cup 2015. Ireland are a talented bunch, who are led by an able leader. They need to stick together and results will come their way. Pakistan vs Ireland, 2nd ODI, preview and predictions

Mohammad Hafeez vs rash shots: Hafeez has made a habit of playing rash shots and getting out. He was dropped for the last Test against England as a result. Even in the first match, after getting off to a good start, he flashed at a delivery outside off stump to Peter Chase, was safely pouched by William Poeterfield at slip. He will have to make his opportunity count and announce to the world that deserves to be a part of the Pakistan squad.

Ireland batsmen vs Pakistan spinners: As many as six wickets fell to spinners in the first match. Imad Wasim registered his best figures in ODIs, finishing with 5 for 14 and debutant Mohammad Nawaz chipped in with a wicket with his left-arm spin. They bowled 8.4 overs between them and gave away just 28 runs and picked up six wickets. Had Ireland played them better, they could have still recovered to a decent score on the board, despite Umar Gul’s early onslaught.

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry.com. He is a sport enthusiast and a keen observer of cricket, the contests, and its personalities. When not tracking cricket, he follows the world’s soccer leagues and is somewhat partial towards Liverpool. His Twitter handle is @pramz)